IN a game dominated by masters in their teens and early 20s, the September years of 78-year-old Viktor Korchnoi are a shock.
But even Korchnoi was stunned when he only drew a reunion match last month with his longtime rival, Boris Spassky.
After all, Korchnoi easily beat Spassky 6-4 in another match 10 years ago. Four years later, Spassky gave up competitive chess because he couldn’t take “the nervous pressure,” while Korchnoi continued to win prizes.
The 72-year-old Spassky was a big underdog in what was billed as a “Match of Giants” in Kalmykia, Russia, but managed a 5-5 tie.
The mystified Korchnoi said his skill may have declined since 1999 “but somehow Spassky is playing better.”
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